Blumhouse Productions are well known for clever, terrifying and often gory horror. Movies such as “Insidious”, “Paranormal Activity” and last year’s award winner “Get Out” provided truly terrifying and edge-of-your-seat scenes that have seen horror become a part of the recognised film genres. Somehow, “Truth or Dare” slipped through the cracks and is one of the more abysmal horrors under the Blum banner.
We meet our key characters ahead of a trip to Mexico for Spring Break – worst-best-friends ever Olivia (Lucy Hale) and Markie (Violett Beane), Markie’s boyfriend and Olivia’s crush Lucas (Tyler Posey), Brad (Hayden Szetso), Penelope (Sophia Ali) and her boyfriend Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk). While at a club on their final night in Mexico, and while Markie cheats on her boyfriend while his back is literally just turned in the same room, Olivia meets Carter (Landon Liboiron) at the bar, and he lures her – and eventually the rest of her mates – to an abandoned monastery for more drinking and tomfoolery. Carter proposes a game of truth or dare, and they all play, and argue, for a while, before Carter reveals he only brought them all so they are now a part of “the game”.
The premise is simple. Do the dare, reveal the truth, or die. The question “truth or dare?” manifests in the form of a demon, which often overtakes one of the other characters with a large creepy smile – so you know it’s there, essentially. In saying that, a lot of the film attacks with really blatant symbolism so you know what’s going on. For example, the police officer calling his son, Son, so you know it’s his son. And putting a couple of people watching YouTube right in front of the Big Ben – so you know they’re in London. Hence, the huge creepy smiles.
“Truth or Dare” has the beginnings of a good horror movie, it just never follows through. The deaths are not scary, or gory, and are few and far between. Let’s be honest, we all go to a horror to see people get slaughtered. The characters are all truly unlikeable, and I quickly accepted that if all of the people were to die, I’d be totally okay with that. It’s often boring, and with a fairly modest runtime, that’s not really good enough.
In sum, “Truth or Dare” feels a lot like it’s a “Final Destination 10”. The one you really didn’t need to make. I always wonder why, at the end, there’s still characters fighting for their lives. Just let it kill you, already. It’d be better than living in that hell, wondering when it’ll eventually come back to get you (and we KNOW it always comes back). Truth or dare, Katie? Truth, thanks. Have you ever eaten a whole pizza to yourself? Why no, no I haven’t. Dead. Simple.
Unfortunately, “Truth or Dare” is a swing and a miss. I’ll admit though, the ending is pretty clever.